General

What are SIPs? 

SIPs stands for ‘structural insulated panel’. More information can be found at sips.org, which lists many of their benefits, and includes SIPs manufacturers around the country. For the first Minim, Murus was used for SIPs, and are recommended if you live on the East Coast (they can ship nationwide but shipping costs start to add up quickly).  SIPs come with electrical chases in the walls for ease of wiring. Plumbing is typically done external to the wall for ease of access and repair should freezing ever occur.

How does rainwater collection/treatment work? 

See water posts under ‘Design’. 

What can you fit in that closet?

Behind the office is a 5’ long closet.  We’ve tried it out- it can fit 15 hanging dress shirts, 10 t-shirts, 12 pairs of socks, two coats, two suits, 21 ties, 6 sweaters, 7 pairs of shoes, a wetsuit, and guitar bag.  And a suitcase, large backpack full of camping gear, a 10 tray food dehydrator, a toolbox, a small welding machine, a printer/copier, cordless vacuum, 3 kites, 4 bike panniers, a folding BBQ grill, and the battery bank, inverter, and charger that allow the house to be off grid.  There is still some room to spare.

Do the windows open?

There are 6 operable windows in the house.  Also a small RV fan in the bath does a nice job of pulling the breeze through.

Building/transporting

Can I build this myself?

The original Minim was built with a professional builder. It is highly recommended to have professional building experience available to complete the shell (framing, window and roof installation), as well as electrical wiring.  Professional oversight is less necessary for interior finish work including flooring, cabinetry, gas and water plumbing, and wall finishing.

Can you build this for me?

We are currently working to identify qualified professional partners to build completed Minims around the country. If you wish to have a completed unit, at this moment the best option is to buy the plans and find a trusted local contractor to construct the house for you.

Can I build this on a foundation?

Yes.

How do I move it? 

Minim House is 10’8” wide by 22′ long, and is considered a wide load. You will need a truck that can haul approximately 13,000 lbs, and have the necessary permits and licenses to haul a wide load in your jurisdiction (insurance is also recommended for any transit damages).  Hiring a professional hauling company is money well spent.

Modifications

Can you extend the bathroom? 

Yes, the bookshelf to the right of the bath entry can be taken out, and the bath extended if desired. Note the doorway then would face the bed in this configuration.  The bath has been found to be very functional as currently laid out.

Can you use a different toilet (i.e. not the Incinolet)?

It is not necessary to install the Incinolet toilet. If you have access to pressurized water and sewer, a standard RV toilet may be used (and will be far cheaper to install).  You may also consider a composting toilet, though carefully consider the size given the bath dimensions.

Can you add more closet space? 

The desk platform (without measuring the current closet) is 5’ x 5’, and can be configured any way you wish during buildout.

Can you take out windows?

Yes, subtracting windows from the original plans is easy- be sure to specify which ones when ordering the SIPs.

Can you add a washer/dryer?

It is possible to add a small combination washer/dryer in the closet, though this decreases closet space.

Can you add a full size refrigerator?

There is 28” of space between the side of the kitchen wall and the kitchen window, which would allow for a range of apartment size refrigerators, which typically run 24” (such as this one).

Can you increase the overall length or width of the house, or decrease the width to make it not a ‘wide load’?

This entails a complete redesign, including costs for an architect and structural engineer, as well as changes the carefully considered geometry of the house (approx 11’ x 22′) that keeps it looking ‘square’ rather then an elongated rectangle commonly associated with trailers, houseboats, and RV’s.

Can I build my own trailer or modify an existing one? 

The trailer is literally the foundation of your house, and we only recommend a professionally built, new 14,000 GVWR trailer.  Full specs are included in the plans. For East Coast builders, we have had a good experience with Kaufman Trailers (sales rep Rachel is available at: rshrum@kaufmantrailers.com)

Plans

Are plans available for stick building the Minim (i.e. all 2×4 construction)?

At this time only plans are offered for SIPs construction, which we believe is superior in terms of insulation and build time.

Are plans available in metric?

Unfortunately they are not.

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